Less than an hour after the Kansas City Chiefs announced the 37 transactions that got their roster down from 90 players to the NFL-mandated 53, which had to happen Saturday before 3:00 P.M. CT, Brett Veach took about 30 minutes to answer questions via a conference call with local media.
Here are nine things we learned on that call:
On veteran safety Daniel Sorensen's potential return at some point:
"My hope would be that he's ready by Week 8, but (Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance] Rick [Burkholder] would have more information on that. The halfway point would be a logical timeline on my end."
Context – Sorensen suffered a tibia plateau fracture, along with an MCL and lateral meniscus injury, in early-August.
On keeping veteran Matt McGloin as the third quarterback:
"That quarterback room is a big deal and what you do on the field is important, and then (so is) the everyday stuff that you're bringing to the meeting rooms. A lot of preparation and a lot of information goes on in that room, and the thing I'd say about [McGloin] is his experience in the league and playing in our division, too, and just the feedback he and Chad [Henne] are able to give Patrick [Mahomes]—that's a big deal.
"You always want to keep an eye in the future and you always want to have young guys in the hopper, but having a quarterback so young though (in Mahomes), that was a factor."
Context: Veach said they "went back and forth" in regards to keeping either McGloin or undrafted rookie Chase Litton, who they hope can make it through waivers so they can continue to work with him.
On cornerback Charvarius Ward, who came over in a trade from the Cowboys for OL Parker Ehinger:
"Ward is typically the kind of cornerback we like—long, athletic, press corners. He'll be able to play special teams. He'll be able to cover kicks, cover punts. But he's long and he's athletic, and those guys are hard to find.
"Sometimes you even process this like another draft pick moving forward, and this is like another late-round pick that you can invest in. And also knowing you pick so far down on the waiver wire claim, you know you're not going to get a lot of these guys, and six-foot cornerbacks (like Ward) who flash a little on tape, I mean, they're like gold. So, we wanted to get ahead of it."
Context: Ward played collegiately at Middle Tennessee State and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cowboys this year.
On safety Jordan Lucas, who came over in a trade from the Dolphins for an undisclosed draft pick:
"He was a guy who played cornerback in college (at Penn State). We ask our safeties to play a lot of man coverage across the board and so we're always going to look for safeties who have that cornerback background. We almost poached him last year, and then (the Dolphins) put him on their active roster. We like his ability to play in space and cover. He's a really good teams' player."
Context: Ward was taken by the Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He's played in 19 career games—mostly appearing on special teams.
On what he's seen so far from second-round pick Breeland Speaks:
"The guy is really athletic for that size, and we have some flexibility. We've already seen his ability to set an edge and play the run, and I think he's learning how to pass rush from the outside as a standup backer. But moving forward, he'll be able to kick inside and do some interior rush with guys like Chris Jones and Allen Bailey because he is 280 pounds.
"Just because in the preseason we just rushed four up the field doesn't mean we aren't getting creative. We already know he can out there and play in base downs and he can set an edge and play the run, but he can also rush from the 3-technique and probably also play 5-tech moving forward (if we need it).
"He's a valuable defensive line commodity that because of how we're set up with our depth right now is going to help us best at outside linebacker with keeping Justin [Houston] and Dee [Ford] healthy in regards to limiting their reps. But he's also a guy that in the future who could play anywhere across the board, so that's the value we saw in how he's possibly going to affect the roster in year two and year three."
Context: Speaks was a 4-3 defensive end at Ole Miss and he's on the bigger end of the typical 3-4 NFL outside linebacker, but he possesses the athleticism to step out there and develop. Also, the Chiefs may have more creative ways to utilize Speaks' skillset that weren't used during the "vanilla" preseason schemes.
On the Raiders' blockbuster trade of Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears, who are coached by former Chiefs' offensive coordinator and college teammate of Veach's at Delaware, Matt Nagy:
"We were excited. I think I was probably the first one to call Matt [Nagy] today and congratulate him. I said, 'The Bears and Chiefs just got better today.'
"So, we were excited to see him go to the NFC and not have to play him twice a year anymore. He's a phenomenal player."
Context: Not really needed. Mack is one of the best defensive players in the NFL and he's no longer in the AFC West.
On the roster decision at inside linebacker, which came down to a decision between Ben Niemann and Ukeme Eligwe:
"It basically just came down to Ben Niemann—you couldn't ignore the tape. That was it. We actually had two teams that called us about [Niemann], so we knew he wouldn't make it through the waiver wire claim. We knew he wouldn't make it to the practice squad.
"In some of these trades that we didn't do, the player they wanted was Niemann, so the dialogue we had with teams basically told us there was no way we could lose this guy because he's done so much for us in such a short amount of time."
Context: Niemann, who was one of the top linebackers across the league throughout the preseason, was one of two undrafted rookie free agents to make the Chiefs' roster (Darrel Williams).
On trying to make any additions to the tight ends group:
"I don't see where they're going to come from because from the early glance over the cuts (around the league), a lot of these guys that we were identifying as combo guys—players who can block and catch—they're going to stick (with their teams). Some teams are keeping four or five tight ends, but we're certainly going to look."
Context: The Chiefs currently have two tight ends on the roster with Travis Kelce and Alex Ellis. Demetrius Harris was placed on the Reserve/Suspended List due to his one-game suspension handed out by the NFL earlier this offseason.
On undrafted rookie running back Darrel Williams out of LSU making the 53-man roster:
"He came in with the right attitude. He came in and ready to work. That really intrigued us about him. With all these decisions, a lot of this goes into the background of these guys. He was a blue-collar guy. The kid is smart. He works hard. He does a great job in pass protection.
"(Our running backs—Kareem Hunt, Damien Williams, Spencer Ware and now Williams), they're all 220 pounds and can run between the tackles, protect the passer, and can catch the football."
Context: At one point this offseason, the Chiefs had five running backs on the roster with NFL experience in Kareem Hunt, Damien Williams, Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware and Kerwynn Williams. The fact that Darrel Williams earned a spot tells you a lot about what he's proven in such a short time.